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  • Writer's pictureolivia perreault

'Wake Up Sunshine' Presents A Mature All Time Low

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

The world is in shambles. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading across the globe like wildfire. People are grasping for something, anything to make them feel whole in a time that ultimately makes them feel lost. When all seems forgotten, it’s time to Wake Up Sunshine.

Last Friday, the pop-punkers of All Time Low dropped their eighth studio album. The record follows 2017’s Last Young Renegade. While their previous record was a necessary stepping-stone, as frontman Alex Gaskarth described in an interview with UK’s Kerrang!, it wasn’t necessarily as hard-hitting as past albums. LYR featured some bangers, of course, including “Dirty Laundry” and “Drugs & Candy,” yet it saw the band taking a turn toward alt-pop, rather than their deeper, pop-punk staple hits.

Wake Up Sunshine opens with the emotional and raw track “Some Kind of Disaster.” Although the LP features some fast-paced tunes that are better fit for screaming lyrics out your car window, I think the band chose this track to unite themselves with their die-hard fan base. “I’m a liar I’m a cynic / I’m a sinner I’m a saint / I’m a loser, I’m a critic / I’m the ghost of my mistakes,” Gaskarth sings, opening up a part of himself to show that just like all of us, he’s a little broken and bent.

The record continues with “Sleeping In,” “Getaway Green,” “Melancholy Kaleidoscope,” and “Trouble Is,” which all dropped ahead of the album release. In these songs, we see All Time Low going back to their roots. I can sense some inspiration from 2007’s So Wrong, It’s Right and Nothing Personal from 2009. “Sleeping In” offers an undeniably catchy chorus, with Gaskarth spitting out the words so fast - yet it’s delivered smooth, slipping off his tongue like honey. “If I said I want your body, would you hold it against me?” he belts, paying homage to their cover of Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” in 2011.

Their title track, smacked in the middle of the album, is definitely a wake-up call. He’s posing the question we all want to know: “Are you living well in this living hell?” Between the day-to-day shenanigans of life, it’s a sweet reminder that it’s time to get up and move on. The bubbly tune is followed by “Monsters,” a track I never imagined to credit All Time Low. For the first time, we see guitarist Jack Barakat write some of the lyrics alongside a feature from rising hip/hop star blackbear. “I’m wondering why do all the monsters come out at night / Why do we sleep where we want to hide? / Why do I run back to you like I don’t mind if you fuck up my life?” Gaskarth rips through the track. This one hits different.

“Pretty Venom” is dripping in intimate lines, while “Safe” will bring you to tears. Another song, “Favorite Place,” includes a feature from The Band CAMINO, a relationship-driven track, reminding me of some of their tunes from Don’t Panic. Then, we’re met with a string of songs, starting with “January Gloom (Seasons, Pt. 1). The track has a sense of nostalgia to it, combined with a plea: “All I need from now is you to save me.” It is followed by the bass-driven “Clumsy” pointing at faults, “Glitter & Crimson” - a dreamy track, and “January Gloom’s” part two, “Summer Daze.” The ladder is exactly like the title suggests; it’s the type of song you’d want to jam to in your car, reminiscent of times sprawled across the beach, running through summer rain showers, and those brief, summer love stories.

The 16-track LP wraps-up with “Basement Noise.” As Gaskarth mentioned in Kerrang!, the group decided to record this album together, alone in a basement, like they once did back when they created the songs on their debut, Put Up or Shut Up. “Just stupid boys making basement noise” repeats over throughout the chorus, reminding us that after all these years, through the growth - both musically and personally - they’re still just boys making noise in the basement. Yet, I’m here to report that their “Basement Noise” is some of their best work.

I’ve heard people refer to All Time Low time and time again as a band they “used to listen to” back in their youth, pointing to the middle school days where “Dear Maria, Count Me In” was clouding MySpace and streaming over radiowaves. But since then, this band has come so far. This album comprises some of the best tracks they’ve ever made, combining their classic roots with a much more modern, mature sound. So what are you doing? It’s time to Wake Up Sunshine, and hear the new All Time Low.

Rating: ★★★★★

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